How to Kill a Marriage
Perhaps we can get a better feel for how to nurture a marriage by putting tongue in cheek as we make a list of the most common ways to kill a marriage.
- Never change. The fault is always in the other. Never me. Be rigid, set in your ways. Close yourself to the possibility of growth.
- Always take your partner for granted. Now that you are married you own your partner, and therefore you can always assume that your partner will always be there for you.
- Demand that you never be taken for granted. After all, I am me. It’s OK for me to take you for granted, but you must never take me for granted.
- Quit scoring points. You don’t need to impress the other anymore. Don’t tell him/her nice things like “I love you” or “You really are pretty/good looking.” Quite saying “thank you” and “please.” Don’t bother to compliment each other or to tell each other how nice you look like you did before you were married.
- Make sex be only for him. Both of you buy into the myth that sex is really only for the male, that he needs his regular dose, but that she doesn’t need it or enjoy it.
- Never do any sexual experimenting with each other. Never make love in front of a cozy fire in the fireplace on a winter night, and never do it in the backyard on a hot summer night. Certainly don’t do it in the little motor launch or in the sailboat.
- Always make sex be in the same way, the same time, the same station. (Tune in again next week folks, same time, same station.) Don’t ever try anything new or different, and certainly don’t discuss it with each other, but only with your close friends.
- Always take the children with you on vacation. After all, this is what your parents did for you. Never take a vacation just for the two of you.
- Never take honeymoon get-away weekends. Never farm the kids out to friends and neighbors or grandparents. Never attempt to get away for a 24-hour “quickie” weekend of good eating, good sleeping, and good lovemaking.
- Never take separate vacations. Never get away from each other. Never allow each other a time away from each other and the children.
- Never really resolve your conflict. Always allow your beefs and complaints to punish, build up and become infected.
- Fight dirty. Use lots of silent treatment and lots of gunnysacking. Always punish your mate for not agreeing with you or seeing things your way.
- Abdicate! This means you don’t leave the marriage in a physical sense but you “move out” in a mental-emotional-spiritual sense.
- Never share your real feelings and thoughts. Never let down your guard. Never let your partner see your hand.
- Always be defensive. After all, you are always right. You shouldn’t ever be questioned about anything you say or do.
- Dedicate your life to your children. Tell yourself that they learn to expect that this is their right and your responsibility toward them.
- Never do anything differently. Never go out. Never try anything new. Never surprise each other.
- Have too many children. Too many for you! How many can you afford within the bounds of what you want to give them?
- Have children very close together. Don’t give much thought to the effects of children on the primary caretaker. Don’t consider the child’s need to be the queen or king for at least 2 or 3 years.
- Never have an affair with each other! Never spice up your relationship by pretending or by the creative use of fantasy and imagination. Never dress up for each other. Quit grooming for each other. Let yourself go in terms of your weight, your physique, your figure.
- Never work through your relationship with your own parents. Let them continue to dominate you, or manipulate you. Let them continue to make you feel shame and guilt over the decisions you have made. Make up your mind that you must never hurt them by standing up to them in any way.
- Tell yourself that you only married your mate, not your mate’s family. Tell yourself that your partner’s family has nothing to do with the way your partner treats you or the children.
- Take yourself dead seriously. Approach your partner, his/her parents, your parents, your children, and your jobs as though every little event is deadly serious and eternally important.
- Never laugh or joke or attempt to be humorous about anything. Don’t cultivate a sense of humor. Tell yourself that life is too serious for such frivolity.
- Be defensive about your femininity and masculinity so that you never even consider changing roles or switching or reversing roles. Insist that you and your partner live your lives according to the doctrine of separate spheres wherein each sticks to the traditional division of labor and the traditional sex roles.
- Insist that his career be the REAL career and hers, if she should happen to be gainfully employed, be secondary or subservient to his.
- All feelings must be justified, defensible, and explainable.
- Traditional rules, roles, attitudes, beliefs, and values must never be questioned or challenged.
- Most of all, tell yourself that there is no need to show your partner or tell your partner that you love him/her. After all, they SHOULD know this without you having to do or say anything.